- We are emotionally self-aware. We recognize our own emotions and our impact on others. This means we must accurately assess our own emotional triggers and weaknesses, as well as our emotional strengths.
- We are aware of our perceptions and assumptions. We understand the impact of these perceptions on our sense of reality. Perceptions are the basis of creating paradigms, which often shape the way we select data and perceive events.
- We are aware of values and principles that underlie our choices and actions.
- We manage emotions. We’re able to regulate both the expression and experience of emotions, including emotional self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative and optimism.
- We exhibit personal mastery—creating what we want in life and work. We can develop this mastery by creating a personal vision and understanding our own reflexive reactions.
- We generate life balance. This is defined as the ability to successfully change, adapt, overcome and cope with unexpected setbacks and general life challenges.
- We set realistic goals, demonstrate effective time management and follow through on commitments.
- We build soft skills like motivation, communication, team management, confidence, versatility, reliability and emotional and social intelligence.
- We engage in life-long learning. Our mindset is one where every experience, opportunity, change, situation, challenge and conflict is seen as an opportunity to learn.
- We act with personal integrity. Integrity has four elements: consistency in word and action, consistency in adversity, being true to oneself and displaying ethical behaviour.
- We exhibit emotional resilience. We’re able to bounce back from setbacks and overcome adversity. We cope well with high levels of ongoing change and constant pressure and adjust from old, ineffectual habits that may be dysfunctional or maladaptive.
LEADS in Action
Reflection by Ruth Gillingham
The Salvation Army’s camping ministry is one of the most effective ways we have of discipling our young people. They are entrusted with the missional responsibility of proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ and overseeing the welfare of children who often present with many complex needs.
Our young leaders are expected to demonstrate behaviour that reflects The Salvation Army’s code of conduct and, more importantly, biblical standards of compassion, self-control, kindness, gentleness, and goodness, to name a few.
These are challenging expectations for young people who are still navigating their own physical, psychological, and spiritual development, and especially in the context of intense community. Camp is a highly social environment where individuals are in contact with one another for long periods of time without a break. Often staff work together, eat together, sleep in the same cabin and do not have a lot of space to decompress.
The LEADS framework has been an effective way to help young staff develop in leading self, especially in relation to co-workers and campers. The “ladder of inference” has been a constructive tool to help develop self-awareness in staff, by learning to understand the thinking process they go through, usually without realizing it, to get from an observation to a decision or action.
The thinking stages are depicted as rungs on a ladder. By teaching individuals to slow down and reflect before moving from thought to action, many interpersonal conflicts and poor behavioural choices are averted. The ladder of inference has been used to help individuals become aware of their own thoughts and reasoning. It is also used to help individuals become aware of the reasoning process of others, thereby helping expand their understanding of other people’s motives. It teaches them to actively engage others in conversation by choosing the option of positive inquiry (asking questions) rather than jumping to conclusions.
When conflict arises in the camp setting, we can then address each situation by using a shared language and process to look at the situation and use it as a place of learning and growth.
As we look to the future, the development of young leaders is fundamental to The Salvation Army, and it must begin with the development of self. What is true for young leaders is also true for the most experienced.